Reeves Nelson Commits to UCLA

UCLA gets its first commitment of the 2009 recruiting class with 6-7 junior power forward from Modesto (Calif.) Christian, Reeves Nelson, who is the #30-ranked player in the national class of 2009, verbally committing to UCLA...

Reeves Nelson, the 6-7 forward from Modesto (Calif.) Christian, verbally committed to UCLA.

Nelson, the #30-ranked player in the nation for the class of 2009, is the first commitment for Head Coach Ben Howland for this class.

Nelson is a big, burly, very physical forward who is an excellent rebounder and a good finisher around the basket. His outside skills are still developing, but he is very much in the mold of a typical Howland player -- tough, physical, relentless and a good rebounder and defender.

UCLA will probably have at least five scholarships to give to the 2009 class.

Here's the story from's Dave Telep

Modesto Christian has cranked out its fair share of players over the years. Recently Cal's Richard Midgely and Kentucky's Chuck Hayes were front and center for the program. Currently, power forward Reeves Nelson ( No. 30) is the headliner and on Thursday he picked a select program and coach in which to further his career.

After receiving national recruiting attention, Nelson committed to UCLA.

"He has potential to be the best player to ever come out of this area – period," Modesto Christian athletic director Greg Pearce told "I see Reeves at UCLA between 1-3 years, that's my prediction. He's got that type of talent to do that and I think UCLA would agree with me on that. When it's all said and done he could be our highest profile player. The potential is there to be that."

"He called Coach Howland last night and threw his hat in the ring to play for the Bruins," Brian Nelson, Reeves father told

A bruising forward, Nelson fits Howland's style of play extremely well. He's a solid athlete who brings a hard-nosed identity to Howland's frontcourt.

There's a lot that goes into a college selection, but at the end of the day it was hard to overlook UCLA's successes – past and future – when making the call. Plus, like in the real estate game its location, location, and location.

"I think it's fair to say location played a part," Brian Nelson said. "Staying on the West Coast Reeves is close to family and friends and those that love him will get to watch him regularly."

In the last week, three big men popped for North Carolina. UCLA was involved with each. Those decisions raised the awareness of Nelson. As is often the case, one commitment fuels another and so on and so forth.

UCLA, Duke and North Carolina were the final choices, according to Nelson's father.

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